ARDEN ARCADE (CBS13) – A suspected drunk driver ran a red light, hitting a mother and son who were on their way home from the hospital. The nine-year-old boy was killed in the crash and his mother was badly injured.
Authorities say 27-year-old Rene Zaragoza Jr. ran a red light at Marconi and Bell around 1:30 a.m. Sunday and crashed into another car, killing a 9-year-old boy and leaving his mother fighting for her life. Zaragoza reportedly left the scene of the accident. He was later taken into custody at his house.
Zaragoza was previously convicted of drunk driving in 2013. CHP says a condition of his driver’s license was the installation of an interlock device, an anti-drunk driving tool used by the courts.
Officers said the interlock device was not installed into Zaragoza’s vehicle, so he was breaking the law.
Mike Zerfas with the CHP says the DMV monitors installation and when it comes to those interlock devices, but compliance is spotty.
“That’s been my experience -that most people who have that as a requirement don’t actually have one in their car,” Zerfas said.
A spokesperson for the DMV said, “Individuals who are arrested or convicted of driving under the influence, the DMV will suspend or revoke their driving privilege in accordance with California law. When a court orders the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID), it will notify the DMV, which will place an IID restriction on their driving record. The individual will contact IID manufactures to install the unit. Once the unit is installed, the manufacturer will submit a DL 920 form to the DMV as proof of installation. The court has special forms and procedures to monitor drivers who were ordered to install an IID. The IID restriction applies to any car the individual owns or operates. However, if the individual drives another vehicle without the system they would be doing so illegally.”